Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Newtown -- never forget

Surveys suggest that Americans are already forgetting the issues raised by Newtown. Let's stop that from happening.

Newtown -- never forget

Mourners grieve at one of the makeshift memorials for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. On Friday, a gunman allegedly killed his mother at their home and then opened fire inside the school, killing 26 people, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mourners grieve at one of the makeshift memorials for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. On Friday, a gunman allegedly killed his mother at their home and then opened fire inside the school, killing 26 people, including 20 children. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

It happens every time, doesn't it? Some horrible tragedy, some outrage of humanity or politics tales place -- and America vows that it will never forget. And it doesn't forget...for a few days, maybe for a few weeks. But life gets in the way. The December holidays are a moment to cherish time with your family, not to sit on your laptop writing angry letters to legislators, but then the holidays end and...other stuff is happening. My gosh, Newtown was terrible, but look at the TV, we're going over the fiscal cliff RIGHT NOW!!!

This is what the whack jobs at the NRA are counting on. They are waiting you out. Do you really want to do the NRA's bidding?

Right at this moment, you and I are doing exactly that:

[BEGIN EXCERPT] On the day of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., we published a chart showing the Sisyphean nature of the national gun control discussion. In the immediate aftermath of a shooting, such as the one that took place in Aurora, Colo., mentions of the term "gun control" spike in the news media. In a matter of days, that discussion all but disappears.

This time was supposed to be different. "It is hard to believe this will not be a watershed moment when we start to talk about, deal with and even perhaps legislate on guns," ABC News's Z. Byron Wolf wrote. He was one among many in the media who believed the momentum for gun control legislation was strong enough to turn the tide on a familiar pattern.

Blame it on the fiscal cliff, blame it on Christmas, blame it on our ability to forget, but the national discussion about gun control has once again ebbed. Mentions of the term "gun control" on television, in newspapers, and in online media are down to pre-Sandy Hook levels, according to the Nexis database.

Barring a post-holidy resurgence -- which is certainly possible -- the gun control discussion has once again gone the way of... the gun control discussion. [END EXCERPT]

OK, the ball is dropped, 2013, and it's time to rally, people. If America is not a country that is moved to act by the wanton slaughter of 6- and 7-year-old children in their first grade classroom -- let alone a record level of mass killings, let alone the senseless gun violence that takes place every day in cities like Philadelphia or Camden -- then we are no longer a country.

Every day that I'm posting to this blog, there will be a reminder -- usually small, occasionally large -- of what YOU (yes, you!) can do about gun violence.

You can, for example....go to Harrisburg and let legislators know how you feel.

The good people of CeaseFirePA are holding a rally in the state capital on Jan. 23. You can read more about it here, and you can also join their group for the event on Facebook. Just showing your face is the best way to let lawmakers know that the people are taking back Pennsylvania, that the fringe extremists of the NRA have held sway for too long.

Forget Newtown? Heck, we'd all like to. But we can't. And we won't.

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Will Bunch
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